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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SL Letter of the Day: Bad Tattitude

Posted by on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 2:48 PM

My daughter, age five, is about to move out of state with her mother. It's been a vexed process, one that involving years of wrangling in court, and I'll be seeing less of her now, which is sad. But it's not goodbye forever.

I decided a couple of days ago that I might like to get her initials tattooed on my arm as a statement of my enduring love, and got a couple of designs made at a local tattoo parlor. However when I told my partner of three years—the woman for whom I left my already disintegrating marriage—that I was intending to do this, she freaked out completely. She informed me that if I went ahead with the tattoo that it would be the last time she a) looked at my arm and b) slept in the same bed as me. She has admitted that these feelings are caused by jealousy. Whether she was 100% serious when all this came out of her mouth, I don't know. But it's now turned into a bitter ultimatum—after about 15 minutes' vexed discussion—and she says it makes her feel weird, and that my plan is "trailer trashy" and that this is the sort of thing a pedophile would do. I am shocked by her reaction.

Firstly, Dan, I feel unable to express my legitimate love for my daughter via a gesture which millions of people round the globe would find totally acceptable. Secondly, I feel my partner's kneejerk, kick-in-the-balls reaction has put me in a position where if I don't get the tattoo (and maybe I could have been talked out of it had she engaged me like I was a rational human being and not a psychiatric patient) I will have been steamrolled out of something in a way that sets a hideous precedent for our relationship. Thirdly, what the fuck???

She challenged me to ask you what you thought. I told her she risked my receiving a "DTMFA" in response. Who's right?

A Tat Unreasonable?

P.S. I put down a $50 non-refundable deposit at the tattoo parlor, which I will lose if I don't get something done. Should I a) let it go for the sake of peace, b) use it on something other than my daughter's initials, like a fist with an unfurled middle finger, or c) just do what I want since it's my fucking arm?

My response after the jump...

················

DTMFA.

Or, you know, not. It's called "advice" and not "binding arbitration" for all sorts of reasons. You don't gotta DTMFA her just because I said so.

But you do gotta get that tattoo.

Because I said so, first and foremost, but also because as you've gotta stand up to your girlfriend's emotional blackmail, irrational ultimatums, and general batshittery. Allowing her to get her way on this issue would, as you fear, set a hideous precedent. Tantrums—and threats and ultimatums and batshittery—continue so long as they work. Don't let the tantrum work. And if she DTMFAs you after you get the tattoo, ATU, good riddance to batshit rubbish.

And a few words for ATU's girlfriend: It's not like your boyfriend was planning to get his ex-wife's initials tattooed on his arm. We're talking about his daughter's initials. His ex may be his ex, ATU, but his daughter is and always will be his daughter. Anyone who feels jealous when confronted with evidence of their current partner's affections for a child from a previous relationship—and anyone who compares a father's love for his daughter to a pedophile's lust for a child—has issues that I could, if I cared to, unpack here in the unlimited space available to me on the Interwebs. But I don't care to. I'm just gonna say this: you love a man who has a child that he loves. If you can't love that child too, lady, and if you can't see your boyfriend's feelings for his daughter as a credit to his character, then there's something terribly, terribly wrong with you.

ATU: get a tattoo.

ATU's GF: get a shrink.

 

Comments (208) RSS

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STJA 1
New acronym from Dan: GBTBR - "good bye to batshit rubbish".
Posted by STJA on September 28, 2011 at 2:55 PM · Report this
BEG 2
Uh, ATU. THIS IS YOUR DAUGHTER. That is a relationship that is permanent and you will always love her (well hopefully thru the teen years, too). I can't fathom why a girlfriend would be threatened by that. A tat of your ex? Yeah. Daughter????

Wow. Some people.
Posted by BEG http://twitter.com/#!/browneyedgirl65 on September 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM · Report this
sirkowski 3
I'm getting a Snow-White evil queen feel, but with no happy end.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on September 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 4
Yeah, that's some crazy shit. Be sure not to leave any room on your arm for any additional children.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on September 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 5
My god, what a psycho. Guy knows how to pick 'em.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 6
No, no, no. Shrinks all around. First. Get the tat second. Cuz, you know, it's kinda irreversible.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on September 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
care bear 7
Get the tattoo and DTMFA.
Posted by care bear on September 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 8
Get the divorce documents tatooed on your back!
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on September 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM · Report this
sloegin 9
Friend of mine went thru a messy divorce; got a tat of a drawing that his daughter made of the two of them.

I generally loathe tats, but hey, coolest tattoo ever.
Posted by sloegin on September 28, 2011 at 3:02 PM · Report this
ryanayr 10
I can't help but think this woman is jealous of the attention and love this man has for his daughter, and the rest is just grasping for anything to justify that. Who would want to be with that?
Posted by ryanayr on September 28, 2011 at 3:04 PM · Report this
11
The current partner is right about one thing - it is totally white trashy
Posted by Reader01 on September 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Nofo 12
Be glad she showed you what a controlling, manipulative harpy she is BEFORE you eventually married her.
Posted by Nofo http://nofo.blogspot.com on September 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM · Report this
Vince 13
Fercrisakes, what a fucking lunatic. If you divorced somebody for this beatch, you went from the frying pan into the fire. I'd get a big tat just to spite the witch. Then I'd throw her out on her ass!
Posted by Vince on September 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM · Report this
Lose-Lose 14
Amen. ATU: If she objects to a tattoo of your daughter's initials on your arm, imagine what else she's going to object to later on. Regardless of how batshittingly crazy and immature the reaction was, this is a very unwise line in the sand, a line that is a very strong alarm and good cause for you to walk away from this woman right now.

(Upon 30 seconds more of thought, the batshitcrazy reaction and comparison to pedophilia is reason to end the relationship immediately with no more further ado. Seriously. Pedophilia? The woman has no reason to be with someone who has a child, and you have no reason to be with her.)

(FINALLY, 30 seconds more of thought: what would your daughter say? Maybe not now, but in 5, 10, 15 years. What does it say about your priorities for her in your life? Cause ultimately this is about choosing between GF and your daughter, a position no GF should force a man to be in.)
Posted by Lose-Lose on September 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM · Report this
kim in portland 15
You want the tattoo, then get it, LW. Make sure you love the design, though because you will be looking at it for a long time.

My theory is we share our love with people, we share our lives, some we share our bodies with, but no-one, no-one owns us. You don't need your girl friend's permission. Maybe there is something else concerning you girl friend, that she is using the tattoo as a line in the sand, only you know her. Anyway childish ultimatums are unexceptable and they should always be so.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 28, 2011 at 3:10 PM · Report this
16
Oh, she's batshit all right, but I think I am overly sympathetic to a man who artfully used the phrase "hideous precedent."
Posted by karion on September 28, 2011 at 3:17 PM · Report this
17
I suspect the reason why ATU's girlfriend had such a strong reaction has something to do with the traditional view that tattoos have something to do with sex: you know, the sailorman who tattoes his girlfriend's initials, or who selects some design he thinks will impress the ladies, etc.

So her first instinctive reaction could perhaps be depicted as:

tattoo on arm -> love/sex; but with daughter !! --> stop! pedophile!

Given that people can and do often get tattoos for reasons that have nothing to do with their sexual orientation and/or sexual partners, ATU's girlfriend is clearly wrong. But given that there is some cultural association between tattoos and sex/love relationsihps, I can see where she's coming from.

Maybe she herself had some problem with this kind of thing? Maybe her associations with tattoos and tattooed people are bad? Maybe she was herself molested, and now reacts strongly to anything that suggests molestation?

Again, I'm not saying she's right -- nope, she's wrong, and ATU does have the right to do whatever he wants with his arm. I'm just imagining what kinds of issues his girlfriend has, and trying to understand her. (ATU doesn't say it, but I get the impression that his girlfriend doesn't normally have such strong, immediate reactions? After 3 years together, if she had a pattern of suddenly going irrational and screaming "no! I won't let you!", he would have mentioned it in his letter, wouldn't he?)

Posted by ankylosaur on September 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 18
DTMFA, tattoo or no tattoo.

Girlfriend is crazy. (1) Leaping onto the pedophile assumption because you love your daughter is crazy. Crazy crazy. (2) Issuing ultimatums like this is not healthy relationship material. Period.

I'd follow that by urging a timeout on the tattoo. I have a tattoo myself, so I'm not anti tattoo. But I am anti ill-considered tattoo. Don't delay because of the crazy girlfriend. Delay to be sure that this is a thoughtful honest way you want to express your love of your daughter... for the rest of your life. Don't get this out of anger with your girlfriend, or to prove you won't back down. If you do, you'll regret it a couple years from now when you'd really rather forget the crazy girlfriend. Dump the girlfriend first. Then take a deep breath and wait a couple months. Then decide if this is really what you want. There is no hurry.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on September 28, 2011 at 3:25 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 19
If his child from the previous relationship (in discrete tattoo form) can't compete with the crazy girlfriend now, how will she fare against the happy couple's subsequent offspring?
Posted by saxfanatic on September 28, 2011 at 3:26 PM · Report this
ballard dude 20
Get the tat! When you're far from your girl, being able to touch the tat is going to be a great comfort...
Posted by ballard dude on September 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
21
WORD. When I was single, I was totally open to dating guys with kids, but only, ONLY, if they were good, involved fathers. ATU GF sounds like the worst kind of dad-dater; one who would actually prefer that her boyfriend was some kind of deadbeat who didn't give a shit about his kids. I mean sure, it would make him a terrible human being, but she wouldn't have any competition for his attention, and THAT's what really matters, amirite?

At the very least she needs therapy, but the fact that she admits to all of this bullshit openly with no apparent shame and brings pedophilia into the conversation indicates to me that she's just a morally bankrupt nutjob and DingTMFA is probably just cutting to the inevitable chase.
Posted by amazonvera on September 28, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 22
Kim in Portland @15 wins, as usual.

Everybody else is right too, though. Bitch be crazy.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on September 28, 2011 at 3:32 PM · Report this
warreno 23
Of this whole story, it's the 'pedophile' part that I'm still having difficulty wrapping my mind around.

We're that paranoid now as a culture? So obsessed with Teh Preevertz that a father displaying love for his daughter is automatically a kiddy-diddler?

Jesus Haploid Christ, lady, get a sense of fucking perspective.
Posted by warreno http://www.nightwares.com on September 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Jaymz 24
A blowup over a proposed tattoo in general (of his alma mater mascot or a huge sinking ship on his chest or a face tattoo) can be explained as a momentary lapse from a wonderfully high strung and delightful partner, but it still reveals the desire to control someone else and is a huge red flag.

Ink that can be covered by sleeves and commemorating a daughter? Admitting there is some jealousy involved? Pedophile comment? No excuse - run.

I think he should skip the tat, pledge to see her regularly, and start a college fund. A father in her life is worth way more than a memorial tattoo.
Posted by Jaymz on September 28, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
kim in portland 25
@17
I've never heard that traditional view of tattoos, ankylosaur.
I've always understood tattooing in the military to be more about military units, battles, kills, etc., an association which remains widespread among older Americans who served. I don't know of anyone who has a tattoo about sex, memoralizing, hobby/interests, personal inspiration are the reason given. None of mine are about sex either, although the fact that Themis' left breast is exposed could be considered sexual. Anyway, thank you for the "learn something new everyday". :)
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM · Report this
26
I don't think she's crazy. She had a gut reaction based on twisted cultural norms BUT she agreed to seek Dan's arbitration. Hopefully this will set her straight and they'll live happily ever after. Dude shouldn't be so trigger-happy about dumping her if she comes around.

Silvio Levy
Posted by codairem on September 28, 2011 at 3:43 PM · Report this
More, I Say! 27
@24, now, I used to date a dude who wanted a face tattoo. I have several tattoos myself and I usually prefer a partner with a little ink - at least aesthetically. BUT the FACE? NOT the BEAUTIFUL FACE!!! ARGHH! Is always how I feel about face tattoos. At least on the folks I date/sleep with...
Posted by More, I Say! on September 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM · Report this
28
@23 yes we are. We have been since at least the late Reagan years. Maybe you weren't around when the McMartin Preschool Abuse Trials and dozens of others hideously unjust, if lower-profile, prosecutions took place. Or when Clinton's Surgeon-General was fired because she dared muse out loud whether masturbation ought to be a topic in sex education.

Silvio Levy
Posted by codairem on September 28, 2011 at 3:50 PM · Report this
29
This is perhaps as sympathetic a case as can be advanced, but I am still constitutionally prohibited from advising or approving of any person acquiring a tattoo for any reason. I would shrivel up and die faster than Elphaba melted. But, priorities - end the relationship first, and make it abundantly and repetitively clear that it's the autonymy, stupid. Then do as you will.
Posted by vennominon on September 28, 2011 at 3:51 PM · Report this
30
I will give you the same advice I gave my ex when his new girlfriend expressed jealousy over his child (from a relationship before me): RUN SCREAMING. It was ineffective because I was his ex-girlfriend and the new girlfriend convinced him I was jealous and that she did not, in fact, exhibit all the characteristic behaviors of a sociopath (she was actually a textbook case). The "You were right, I was wrong" email arrived 9 months after their marriage, and 3 months after they separated. She'd tried to get him to put his son into foster care.

I haven't gone out with you, so take my unbiased advice and RUN SCREAMING. There is no therapy for this kind of insecurity and lunacy. An adult who is jealous of a partner's parent-child relationship is irretrievably fucked. There is no rational reason for it. If there was indeed something messed up about your relationship with your daughter, the tattoo is not where she would choose to make her stand. You were in a bad marriage, and you left it to enter into another bad relationship. End this one, and take some time to yourself - try to figure out how you ended up in a 3-year relationship with someone who would pull something like this. I'm gonna guarantee you this ain't the first bit o' crazy she's shown.
Posted by JrzWrld on September 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 31
I am going to assume BSCGF (batshitcrazygirlfriend) had a father with a lovable tattoo that she was forced to see up close while he was raping her in some way. There is practically no other explaination for the pedophile part of the scene. I would not necessarily want to take on the healing that one might need.

Otherwise it is an adult female who is jealous of a little girl and the only cure for that one is DTMFA.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on September 28, 2011 at 3:55 PM · Report this
32
@17, "Maybe she herself had some problem with this kind of thing?... Maybe she was herself molested, and now reacts strongly to anything that suggests molestation?"

Hence Dan's advice that she should "get a shrink." I do like the suggestion @9 that the LW brainstorm with his daughter about what would be a nice design. He picked her initials because that seemed like the easiest way to represent her, but those initials may change someday, and in any case, she may feel that something else represents her better. If he knows that his daughter is going to name something he can't stomach, then don't ask, but otherwise I think it would be nice to talk about it with her first.

I thought the response to "that's so trailer-trashy" was to claim to be ironic. But I guess that's hard to do when it involves your daughter.
Posted by EricaP on September 28, 2011 at 3:56 PM · Report this
33
@23, ya know what? I don't think she really DOES think it's something a pedophile would do. I think it was calculatedly manipulative language intended to scare him. Any love he shows to his child will be pedophiliac if you ask her. That's how she'll hang on to him and drive a wedge between them. Seriously.
Posted by JrzWrld on September 28, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
nocutename 34
I'm with Reverse Polarity on this one.
Two issues:
1) dump the controlling, crazy girlfriend. Jealousy over a parent's love for a child is bad enough, but likening that love to pedophilia is really sick and shows a really insane mind Though yes, codariem, I agree that our whole society is paranoid and obsessed with identifying and rooting out the child molesters (defined as anyone who shows any affection to any child for any reason at any time and in any way).

(And yes, I know that molestation exits and children are victimized, which is horrible, and I'm not in favor of pedophilia, in case I'm about to be accused.)

2) Wait before getting the tattoo. It is permanent. As is your love for your daughter. If you want to proclaim that love through body-modification, that's your right, but there's no reason you have to do it before she leaves town with her mom.
Posted by nocutename on September 28, 2011 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Knat 35
The tattoo idea is pretty trailer trashy, even if everything else she said was batshit. And if this is a typical custom "round the globe," there's far more trailer trash out there than I thought.
Posted by Knat on September 28, 2011 at 4:13 PM · Report this
36
I'll vote for DTMFA. This doesn't bode well for the future. ATU didn't say whether his girlfriend has or wants kids, but her reaction was a fairly clear indication of how she values ATU's love for his child.

Also, I like the idea of holding off on the tattoo and having his child help with an inkable design. That'd be cool!
Posted by SatanicMechanic on September 28, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 37
Your body & your mind are two of the only things in this life over which we have near-total control (barring medical conditions, etc). Nobody should use their position in your life to try to wrest that control from you. Influence? Sure, in any relationship, opinions will be given - like Dan's about large-size earlobe holes. But in the end, it's your fucking arm, as you said. She doesn't like your new tattoo, she doesn't have to stick around. Tattoos also don't have the trailer-biker rep of yore, either. Don't get it hastily & make sure you love the design.

The tattoo sounds loving, though I'd echo the idea someone had above & maybe get the daughter's first name, as opposed to her initials. The initials might change.

..and as others have said above..pedophilia? W.T.F..? I dunno about run screaming, but your girlfriend has some serious issues. A shrink at least.

Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on September 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
kim in portland 38
@ 35,

Yup, we're everywhere even some European royalty are members. Many of us are friendly, though. I'll share my Elijah Craig 18 years with you.

Cheers!
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
39
This situation sounds like my father and step-mother. When my parents split dad got a tattoo of my name on his arm, and I spent a lot of time with him. His new wife hated it. She was, in her own words "jealous of what [we] have together." She started beating me when he was out, and broke my jaw when I was a toddler.

I'm not saying this woman will do that, but she sounds about as crazy as my step-mom. Even aside from this chick denying your right to do whatever the fuck you want with your own body, that kind of mad behavior and rage, directed at your child, is a huge red flag.

DTMFA, for your kid, and my jaw.
Posted by Zombie-Fighter on September 28, 2011 at 4:21 PM · Report this
40
Whatever you do, DON"T let the batshit crazy girlfriend get pregnant. If she is this bad over your child now, how much worse will it be when she has to deal with jealousy over her own child taking up your time? DTMFA
Posted by SeattleKim on September 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM · Report this
41
Wow. Without knowing anything else about this woman, Dan and 34 people are calling her crazy. ATU didn't say anything about her having a history of crazy behavior. She is his love of three long years. He left his daughter to be with her.

This is a fight that got out of hand with both sides upping the stakes. Also we only have his version of reality. I'd like to hear her side.

She said it made her feel weird. What's so terrible about that? As the fight escalated silly things were said on both sides. A frequent occurrance as fights escalate.

To me his side makes him sound like a 12 year old jerk ("Boy, I'll show her! I'll get this tattoo just to prove I am a real man who can do what he wants without caring how others feel").

This is fight that got out of hand, that's all. But now that Dan and 34 other people (and no doubt more to come) have poisoned their relationship with crazy of Crazy! Batshit! I highly doubt that the relationship will last out the week. Too bad. They have three years and a divorce invested in this relationship.

I doubt if he is going to be happier once she is gone and his daughter is gone and there he sits all alone with his tattoo.

A question that comes to mind is would he rather be right or happy? I know 34 people who vote for right. Me- I always go with happy.
Posted by tantragal on September 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 42
DTFMA. And what everyone else said about the pedophilia accusation being batshit crazy.

But. I dunno, ATU, you've been with this woman for three years. Has she backpedaled since the ultimatum? Is this the first time she's acted batshit crazy? Has she previously expressed jealousy toward your daughter?

In other words, is her response totally out of character for her, the result of a bad day in which she failed as a human being? We're all assuming that her batshittery response is indicative of the kind of person she is, but only you have the three years of experience to know for sure.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on September 28, 2011 at 4:34 PM · Report this
43
I agree with the advice given here, although I will say that it is a courtesy - not a requirement, and not asking for permission - to let your partner of three years know if you're considering some type of significant body alteration before you've put down a deposit. Three years is a pretty established relationship, and while I firmly believe a person's body is their own and they can do whatever the fuck they want to it, it is respectful to give someone a chance to give feedback - hopefully far better feedback than this batshit lady did - because, quite frankly, there are people who don't like tattoos or whatever and that's their right. Giving someone you love an opportunity to say "I love you but would have a hard time finding that attractive" about something that's pretty much permanent just seems like a good idea.

The one thing I find saddest about the letter is that ATU seems gutted that his young daughter is moving away and the batshit gf doesn't sound like she made any attempt to be supportinve of his feelings around that or why he wants to get this tattoo at all.
Posted by genevieve on September 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Geni 44
She said a lot more than that it made her feel weird. She all but accused him of being a pedophile because he loves his daughter.

In my experience, anyone who is jealous of their partner's relationship with a child from a previous relationship is someone who will do their best to drive a wedge between parent and child. And any parent who lets that happen - now, that's one whole hell of a lot "trashier" than any body art could ever be.
Posted by Geni on September 28, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
T 45
The pedophile comment alone warrants a DTMFA. She is 100% insane just based on that and has no business being in a relationship with someone who has a child if she's capable of thinking something as patently ridiculous as that. She resents your daughter and would rather she didn't exist, plain and simple. She probably loves the fact that your ex-wife is taking your daughter away and is too selfish to care about the pain you're going through. That's not a partner; that's a sociopath.

Whether you DTMFA or not, get the tattoo. It's your body, and it's your daughter. This bitch can take it or leave it. Most women would admire a man who loves his daughter.
Posted by T on September 28, 2011 at 4:40 PM · Report this
milemarker 46
I don't think anybody should tattoo themselves but that GF would force me to get one. God! Where do these fucking people come from!
Posted by milemarker on September 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM · Report this
47
@17 I'd be curious to see the designs the tat parlor came up with. Nothing would justify GF's apparently unmodulated response, but, you know, could it be possible there's something vaguely creepy about the design?

Shrink for sure, though.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on September 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM · Report this
T 48
@41The gf admitted that she's jealous of his daughter!!! The LW seems to think she may not have meant it, but the fact remains that she had the capacity to say something so completely insane to him. That kind of statement isn't the sort of thing a sane person should be able to so flippantly throw out in the middle of a fight.

If you think you'd rather be happy in a relationship with as massive a red flag as that, then more power to you. But the LW's sadness over ending the relationship won't be permanent, and the prognosis for his long-term happiness is much greater without this psycho if you ask me. So your question doesn't really apply. He can be right AND happy. DTMFA.
Posted by T on September 28, 2011 at 4:52 PM · Report this
addiemonroe 49
I'm with @46.

That said, LW, just a couple of thoughts: I know a guy who got his daughter's name tattoo'd on his arm (it's a short name, four letters), but he did it in binary, which was awesome and a little more subtle. Brail dots can also look cool.
Posted by addiemonroe on September 28, 2011 at 4:55 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 50
@41: Sure, Neville chamberlain was probably a happy fellow but apparently none of it rubbed off on Hitler.

ATU does not sound like "a 12 year old jerk" to me.
Posted by saxfanatic on September 28, 2011 at 4:59 PM · Report this
sirkowski 51
@41 So you can't be right AND happy?
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on September 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM · Report this
52
Dump her. Get the tat if you want. I'm not a tat fan, but like you said, it's your arm. But if the GF is jealous of the love you feel for your daughter and is willing to make batshit crazy ultimatums like that -- you are in for some serious future pain. Get out while you can.
Posted by mistereks on September 28, 2011 at 5:10 PM · Report this
53
@9 Love that idea.

@17 I don't think you're right on that - when I think of stereotypical ideas of tattoos, what comes to mind is "Mom".

Put me down as another vote for dumping her, and then waiting a bit to get the tat. I've got a couple myself, I'm not anti-tat, but "Oh yeah? You can't tell ME what to do" is not a good reason to do anything. Get it because you want it, not because she said you couldn't.
Posted by agony on September 28, 2011 at 5:21 PM · Report this
54
@50. re: 12 year old jerk. That's how his own comments sound to me. He's what Dr. Laura would call a male, not a man. Not everyone believe that having a cock or fathering a child qualify a person as a man. Acting with maturity qualifies you. What we have here is two immature people having a heated argument where stupid things were said.

He thinks the fact that he has 'invested' $50 in a tattoo is an issue. A real man would not have even mentioned that but a boy would.
He is offering up the option of decorating his body of a fist with a middle finger unfurled just to show her it's his fucking arm. Like I said a real man wouldn't do that but a boy would.

Ok. He's immature. And she's jealous. I have no idea what the word batshit means but I am not sure that is applies here.

And now that I mentioned Dr. Laura I wonder how she- or Prudie, or Abby, Margo and the rest would replied to this letter rather than Dan. Dan offers the DTMFA option rather than working things out. An easy solution but it leaves you alone.

Posted by tantragal on September 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Regular Polyhedra 55
A person you're supposedly in an adult relationship with who is jealous of your offspring is not enough of an adult for that relationship. Especially when they call you a pedophile when you don't immediately fold under their ultimatums.
Posted by Regular Polyhedra on September 28, 2011 at 5:32 PM · Report this
jackdee 56
@54 I'll have to disagree with you solely (but isn't that your whole message?) on your saying what is and what isn't a "man". A man is a man is a man is a man. If a man's actions don't serve your own interests, what right does it give you to label them otherwise? Who the Hell cares what Dr. Laura says? Is she a man?

And, Hell, better alone and with options than with some batshit-crazy, jealous, controlling, asshole-douchebag-motherfucker.
Posted by jackdee on September 28, 2011 at 5:34 PM · Report this
57
She never called him a pedeophile. She said his plan was "something a pediophile would do."

Posted by tantragal on September 28, 2011 at 5:56 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 58
@ 41/50, you're way off. An immature man would never have written a letter asking for help. And if you have to ask what's so wrong with her even feeling ANYTHING but supportive and admiring of his desire to do something to feel like his daughter is there, then you have issues in need of therapy yourself.

I say this with all sincerity, and hope that you'll take it to heart. You're reaction to this is not normal.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 6:01 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 59
Sorry, that should say "@ 41/54." Or "@ 41/54/57." Tantrangel, that bit you quoted @ 57? That's calling someone a pedophile - by comparison.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM · Report this
60
I think it would be more adviseable to get a tat of some symbol or object that you feel represents your daughter or your relationship with her rather than initials. I'm actually in the camp where I can see a roundabout way of getting to the pedophilia thing, only in that anytime I see someone with initials tatted on them I would likely assume this was a moment of bad judgment where you got an ex's initials tattooed on you. So this guy might want to prepare for a lifetime of people asking him about the tat, thinking its a current or ex, then him saying his daughter, and people momentarily having their head in the wrong place.

However if I thought my partner was simply making an ill-advised decision I'd happily explain that, not fly off the handle in crazy rage. Clearly either the OP is exaggerating, or she's just really super against tattoos, or we're not getting her side of the story, or she's bothered by something other than the tattoo.
Posted by Karey on September 28, 2011 at 6:07 PM · Report this
61
@57, um that's one heck of a semantic hair split. And given that I know an awful lot of people with their kid's names tattooed on them somewhere, I don't think it's really a pedophile identifier, unless my friends are WAY creepier than I ever suspected.

And I do find her tossing around of labels like "trailer trashy" kind of funny since she had no problem dating a married man. .
Posted by JrzWrld on September 28, 2011 at 6:08 PM · Report this
62
don't have time to read 60 comments, but i've been down that road. DTMFA!
Posted by king tut on September 28, 2011 at 6:15 PM · Report this
63
@56, I get what 54 is saying. They're not saying that a man has to be John Wayne or Ward Cleaver or Clint Eastwood or even Cliff Huxtable. Not saying that a man has to like football, fix the car, mow the lawn, make a lot of money, have a lot of sex, etc., in order to be a man.

They're saying that maturity, thoughtfulness, patience, and forgiveness are requirements to being considered a man, and not a child. I agree that some of the lines in the original letter gave me pause--the alternate tattoo of the upturned middle finger, the putting down a deposit with only a couple of days' thought, being less than willing to walk away from said $50 deposit.

@54, I see what you are saying about calming down and seeing if they can talk this out. However, she did say some things that are huge red flags--throwing out pedophilia, admitting she was jealous of the daughter, going straight to breaking up at the first mention of tattoo. That's an awful lot in a 20-minute argument.

There are lots of things I will give on in order to be with someone I love. I learned that I don't always have to be right, that being happy is pretty good too. But this might be one case where in the long run, he wouldn't be happier with her. Might be time to part ways.
Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 6:20 PM · Report this
64
@41-
She might have other good qualities like a good sense of humor or being a loyal friend. It doesn't matter.

He may have his own issues. (You'd consider a tattoo to spite the GF and prove who's in charge because that and 50 bucks is more important than the maintaining a bond with your daughter? Really, ATU?) It doesn't matter.

This woman is jealous of someone in KINDERGARTEN, and she has already tried to make ATU feel like there is something wrong and dirty about loving his child in a pathetic attempt to compete with a little kid. Compared to that, none of the rest of this matters, and there is no context in which acting on that jealousy in any way is okay. ATU, if you chose to stay with this woman, don't expect this to be the last time she uses something like an accusation of pedophilia to try to make you feel ashamed, guilty, or miserable about loving your child. She will use whatever she can to destroy your relationship with your daughter because she sees it as a threat to her, and if your daughter has the misfortune to be around her, she will try to destroy your daughter's self esteem as well. I hope you dump her, and if you don't I'm glad for your daughter's sake she'll be several states away. I assume that you saw something in this woman, but whatever good qualities she has she is completely unsuited to being a stepparent or involved with anyone with children. DTMFA

Posted by Beguine on September 28, 2011 at 6:28 PM · Report this
eastcoastreader 65
it is always OK to get tattoos about 1.dead people and 2. children. I think memorial tats are really wonderful (I have one for my dad and my best friend) it's a way to keep them with you, and your kids will always be your kids. period.

the girlfriend is nuts, dump her!
Posted by eastcoastreader on September 28, 2011 at 6:29 PM · Report this
66
What a wonderful stepmother this woman would make. RUN, and be glad she gave you the chance.
Posted by MN on September 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 67
@ 63, 64, I think you are reading too much into the "spiteful tattoo/$50" thing. The former is venting - I don't believe, for one minute, that he's even a tiny amount serious about getting a flipoff tattoo. And $50 isn't that small amount of money. I wouldn't risk my relationship over it, but I'm not someone who can just miss a sum like that, either. And some people are pretty well conditioned that way when it comes to money - just letting it go to waste might be as distressing to him as finding only animal-based food to eat would be for a vegetarian.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM · Report this
68
Don't dump her - just get the tattoo. If that makes her break up with you, you can then a) know she wasn't worth it and b) go hang out in one of those hipster bars with lots of hot straight chicks, and when one of them asks you about the tattoo and you tell her it's of your sweet 5-year-old daughter who your ex tore away from you and it breaks your heart how much you miss her (your daughter), she will totally melt and want to fuck your brains out.
Posted by houseoftrash on September 28, 2011 at 6:40 PM · Report this
69
Matt, I'd find it hard to walk away from fifty bucks, too. But I also wouldn't put that much down for a tattoo I'd only thought about for a couple of days. It just seems that if one won't walk away from a deposit, then it sort of demands that you be a little more mindful and cautious about the things you put a deposit on.

Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 6:46 PM · Report this
70
@69 FTW
Posted by EricaP on September 28, 2011 at 6:54 PM · Report this
71
@69 there's a wealth of Tasmanian Devil tattoos out there that suggests thinking about it for a couple of days is actually on the long side of the range. For a lot of guys, something as innocuous as some initials on the arm isn't exactly seen as a big life change. I thought about my tattoo for 4 years, but not everyone's like that - especially if it's a tattoo that would normally be covered by clothing.
Posted by JrzWrld on September 28, 2011 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 72
@ 69, I kind of doubt it was for a couple of days. The decision, yes, but not the thinking about it.

But, even if it was that impulsive, I'd say that given the mindfuck he must have been going through over his daughter moving away (I know I'd be having a real hard time if my daughter was), he can be cut a little slack. Besides, who would have anticipated such a horrid reaction? In this day and age, I'd completely expect any woman under 40 (maybe even 50) to be accepting if not fully down with it. Especially one I'd been dating for three years.

Now, it could be that he's been blind to some warning signs. Someone upthread said she must have displayed some craziness before, and I'm inclined to think so, too. But, not everyone can spot the signs. Some guys seem to think crazy girls are great in bed, and put up with a lot of drama because of it. That's never been my cup of tea.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM · Report this
73
I don't think she's crazy, but I think you should get a tattoo if you want to. I will say this, to both of you: if s/he'll cheat WITH you, s/he'll cheat ON you. Watch your backs. This relationship contains entirely too much insecurity all the way around.
Posted by fotini901 on September 28, 2011 at 7:07 PM · Report this
74
I don't think Dan's wrong. I think crazed ultimatum throwing deserves to be immediately shut down. Get the tat you want (not the revenge tat, the one you wanted in the first place) and see where it goes from there. Beyond that, only you know if this episode is part of a pattern of behaviour or an isolated "bad day", as someone suggested above. So only you know if the tattooed you should give her another chance.

Still, guys, her admitting to some jealousy might not be a marker of insanity - just painful honesty. When our baby was new and I spent ALL my time physically attached to her, my husband would sometimes admit to being jealous of how much of my time was hers, all hers. Not with any desire to CHANGE the situation, just to keep me in the loop about his feelings. I sometimes have a similar reaction now when I come home exhausted and want a cuddle, and our darling daughter is monopolizing her Daddy's time. It doesn't mean I don't adore my baby (she really is empirically the best child in the world, I'm convinced), it just means that sometimes I have emotions I'm not proud of. So I'm not sure it's 100% fair to jump on her for this bit of (potentially) emotional honesty. MAYBE she was trying to unpack her batshit reaction.
Posted by Aealias on September 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM · Report this
Corylea 75
I think the girlfriend's ultimatum is a very, very bad idea. But you know what? If my father got my initials tattooed on his arm, I'd find that vaguely creepy.

Posted by Corylea http://corylea.com/ on September 28, 2011 at 7:49 PM · Report this
76
"I decided a couple of days ago that I might like to get her initials tattooed on my arm as a statement of my enduring love..."

Here's a thought... How about showing your enduring love for your daughter by being a PARENT.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 28, 2011 at 7:55 PM · Report this
Mrs. DePointe 77
Sounds like someone's girlfriend has some daddy issues of her own.
Posted by Mrs. DePointe on September 28, 2011 at 7:56 PM · Report this
78
@Aealias, I think it's useful to separate jealousy from envy. I could be way off base here, but I think I'd classify your and your husband's respective feelings as envy. Also, neither of you threw tantrums about it. Lastly, because it was about the child you two have together, it's not the same red flag that the non-bio-parent adult waves when she talks about jealousy of a child. As I say, there may be too much hand-waving in my thoughts here.

Matt, it's possible I mis-read "I decided a couple of days ago that I might like to get her initials tattooed on my arm" and that the thought process did take longer than just those few days. I could see that. But his daughter moving away was a long, drawn-out process; it wasn't something sudden. My original point was that him not being willing to walk away from a $50 deposit can be a sign of immaturity--either that, or throwing down a deposit too large to swallow is the sign of immaturity. HOWEVER, I mostly agree with you that this fellow should be cut some slack. He didn't even say definitively that he *wouldn't* swallow the deposit. I was just trying to explicate how a male of more than 21 years of age might be called 'not a man'. I don't really have a lot of investment in demonizing this guy. As I say, I agree with you probably 95%. (Crazy women *can* be great in bed; it's never worth it. As I'm sure you know, it's possible to find great-in-bed without the crazy.)

@71, I'm not trying to put a value judgment on spur-of-the-moment tattoos. I'm trying to say that if someone is concerned about a sunk cost, then they ought not put that money down on the spur of the moment. Either you're careful about your money, or you're not.
Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 7:59 PM · Report this
sirkowski 79
Dr. Laura

THAT is batshit insane.
Posted by sirkowski http://www.missdynamite.com on September 28, 2011 at 8:11 PM · Report this
80
trantragal@41:
To me his side makes him sound like a 12 year old jerk ("Boy, I'll show her! I'll get this tattoo just to prove I am a real man who can do what he wants without caring how others feel").
I can't be the only one who notices that when people dig in their own heels it is always on points of noble principle, but when other people dig in their heels they are stubborn children. And when when people dig in their heels on a point with which the poster agrees it is on a point of noble principle, but when people dig in their heels on a point with which the poster disagrees they are -- surprise surprise -- stubborn children.

Just sayin'.

Oh, and one other thing on behalf of all my clients in divorces over the years who have heard their refusals to become doormats for psychopaths and control freaks characterized as peurile and contemptible stubborneess: fuck you with a broken condom and an itchy social disease. Twice.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 8:18 PM · Report this
81
I have no tatoos. I don't have anything against them - at times I have even thought about getting one. But I have never come up with a design that seemed appropriate to permanently etch into my arm. Sure I could put my wife's name on there, but we're happily married - she doesn't need that to know I love her. Dead friends' pictures? What's the point - they're dead.

Tattooing your daughter's name on there, as a reminder to her during her teen years that however far away, you're still her dad and you love her? That is THE BEST idea for a tattoo I have ever heard. I am thankful that it is not relevant to my life, but for you - get the fucking tat NOW.
Posted by Limey Rick on September 28, 2011 at 8:19 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 82
@ 74, in addition to what @78 said, that's normal with couples and their first baby, and dads get over it after a few months, or even weeks. But this girl started seeing this guy when he was already a father, and this blowup happened after three years of dating. I don't think their situation compares to yours.

I'd like to know more about how they handled things involving his daughter. If he wanted to take them to the zoo, did his GF come up with some excuse not to go? Or to the movies? Would she go out to dinner with him and his daughter, or would the girl always have to stay with mom those nights? Did she ever play with her when she was around?

@ 78, cool. I've encountered plenty of middle aged and old people who would fail to qualify as "men" or "women" by that standard.

@ tantragel, I just caught your "observation" that he left his daughter for this girl in your comment @ 41, which is completely nowhere to be found in his words. Did you really read this letter?
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 8:21 PM · Report this
83
Piano Tuna @76:
Here's a thought... How about showing your enduring love for your daughter by being a PARENT.
The kid is going out of state, asshole. The mom is moving her far, far away from the LW being able to do things like pick her up from school, help her with her homework over tea and watch her baseball games, and suddenly in your eyes he's a shitty dad because he just wants some pathetic symbol of how much he loves her now that she's far away.

Die in a fire. Soon. Now would be good. Don't let me hold you up, I'm sure that you've got some matches in the house.

God, people like you make one insane. If the dad had turned around and said something like, "hey, she'll be out of state but she can skype me!" you would write him off as a shallow asshole unworthy of the presence of his child. But his grief at her being so far away is worth even more contempt to the likes of you.

I don't smell smoke from you yet, which is perhaps the saddest thing of all.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 8:28 PM · Report this
igub 84
Interesting that this woman has used your child as a weapon & you'd even consider staying with her. If you remain with this psycho without demanding she seek counseling, then thank God your ex- has custody. And if I were her, I'd use this incident to document that perhaps your psycho girlfriend should NEVER be alone with your kid.
Posted by igub on September 28, 2011 at 8:29 PM · Report this
85
Thanks, Matt. I feel like I'm not explaining myself very well, and then I end up over-explaining and ending up with a wall o' text.

In the same vein of trying to explain others' remarks, the writer left his marriage for his current girlfriend. His ex-wife has primary--or at least physical--custody. Some folks would classify that as leaving his daughter for the girlfriend. Not sure I agree with that assessment, but I think that's what tantrangel was driving at.

@79, yes, that gave me pause as well. But even a blind squirrel will occasionally find a nut.
Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 8:32 PM · Report this
86
@78, but that's kinda my point. For some people, a couple days is serious consideration for certain big purchases. If you decide on it and you don't see any bad consequences, why not go for it? (I say this as a somewhat cost-conscious, but also pretty impulsive shoppper.) He wasn't exactly anticipating bringing down the crazy on his head from his girlfriend. I mean, who would?

But I dunno - he might be able to eat the $50 with no problem, but when you're eating $50 because of someone else's nutty and irrational reaction, it suddenly seems like a bigger waste than if it was just because you changed your mind.
Posted by JrzWrld on September 28, 2011 at 8:33 PM · Report this
87
@50:
@41: Sure, Neville chamberlain was probably a happy fellow but apparently none of it rubbed off on Hitler.
Actually, NC was a prissy, humorless control freak who became icily hostile if you questioned his judgment. It wasn't, therefore, necessary for Hitler to have this rub off on him because, well, delivery of those qualities had already been made in full.
/pedant
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 8:36 PM · Report this
88
The girlfriend may be crazy but, dude, don't let your story to your daughter be that you tiger-mommed every other relationship to death. That only seems to handicap her.
Posted by Mike Leung on September 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM · Report this
89
Just to be contrary:
I think the LW and his GF are perfect for each other!
The LW "left his already disintegrating marriage" and a 2-year-old daughter for this woman? Based solely on his letter (and there always could be something exculpatory that's not written), he's a CPOS who thinks his daughter wasn't worth sticking around for, or fighting for custody for before he got with the new woman?
A tattoo is a pretty sad excuse for the love AND RESPONSIBILITY he should be taking for his 5-year-old.
He should make every possible effort (with or without his GF) to get a job in whatever state his ex is moving to. No tattoo will ever substitute for being there to help his little girl grow up, even if it's only on weekends.
Admittedly that's difficult in this economy, and following his daughter might mean abandoning his GF and maybe getting a lower-paying job. But is his daughter worth his time and effort, or just worth some ink injected in his arm?
Posted by Biologist in the stix on September 28, 2011 at 8:38 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 90
Those responding to tantragal: She outed herself as a troll when she suggested Dr. Laura (Dr. "gays are pedophiles" "homosexuality is a biological error" "Matthew Shepard brought his death on himself") would give better advice than Dan.

DFTT
Posted by Canadian Nurse on September 28, 2011 at 8:42 PM · Report this
91
@89:
he's a CPOS who thinks his daughter wasn't worth sticking around for, or fighting for custody for...
. Oh, agreed. It's not as if he has spent
years of wrangling in court
. Wait.... ummmmm......
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 8:44 PM · Report this
92
@86, I'm not arguing his decision. I'm not saying that him getting a tattoo after a short consideration time is a bad idea. Where have I said otherwise?

@83, wow, that's a lot of vitriol for a one-line comment. We could consider the possibility that ATU might use the money for the tattoo toward things his daughter would appreciate more.
Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 93
@89: So, since the ex-wife has custody of their daughter, he should let her make all decisions about where he lives and works for him for the rest of his life? Being a good father at a distance is difficult and painful, but probably a lot wiser than being a doormat to his ex-wife for the rest of his life.

The letter says he fought in court to keep her in-state and lost. It sounds like he's running low on options and making better decisions than any you've suggested.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on September 28, 2011 at 8:52 PM · Report this
94
It may be a lot of vitriol for a one line comment. It's about 77 litres of vitriol less than the comment deserved. Call it impatience. One of the reasons I stopped doing divorces was the ascendancy of psychos who figured that locking people away from their kids gave everyone the right to criticize the locked out person for not being there for their kids.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 9:00 PM · Report this
TreGibbs 95
Dan, I don't agree, and I feel that it comes down to this - what's more important to you: getting a tattoo (when you obviously already love your daughter and getting a tattoo won't alter, prove or deny that), or having a relationship with this woman? Yes the woman is acting irrational to some degree, but maybe there's a reason why - besides the popular, "she's a controlling bitch" comment on here.

Personally, I think getting a tattoo to prove to random people - or yourself - that you love your kid is the real fucked up thing in this situation.
Posted by TreGibbs on September 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM · Report this
96
DTMFA, and get the tattoo. But wait to get it. Not because you might change your mind about getting it, but because if you get it right now, in your mind it will represent Batshit Crazy as much as it represents your daughter. Wait a while, maybe even a year if it takes that long, before the idea of the tattoo no longer represents the conflict with Batshit Crazy and once again is all about your daughter. And it'll give you time to choose a design that's really, really fitting. It will give you time to talk with your daughter about it, enjoying each other's company while you work on a design together. The process of choosing can be a bonding experience, and there's no need to rush through that.
Posted by Zannie on September 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM · Report this
97
@89: So, since the ex-wife has custody of their daughter, he should let her make all decisions about where he lives and works for him for the rest of his life?
Canadian Nurse, you may be wasting your breath. One of the great consistencies of this sort of case is that if he tries to be a part of her life he will be seen as an obsessive asshole who can't let go and if he doesn't he will be seen as as uncaring.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 9:03 PM · Report this
98
To ATU's girlfriend. Everyone here seems to think that you're crazy. How about proving them wrong? Turn to this guy and apologize for allowing something so petty as jealousy over his child to get in the way of your relationship. A man who loves his child in his heart of hearts, fights for her in court, and vows to stay close to her is an honorable man. Your job is to call bullshit on your own insecurity, stand with him and help him stay close to his child in every way he can. Isn't that the kind of support YOU would want from your partner if you were going through something really harsh? Isn't that what being someone's partner is about?
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on September 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM · Report this
99
@94, I see it from the other side as well. I know a guy who finally moved out from his wife and kids after she cheated on him one too many times. This guy didn't try very hard to keep in touch with his kids, didn't get a lawyer, etc. I don't think he paid a lot of child support either. And now, years later, he's saddened that his kids are wary and tentative of forming a relationship with him.

But really, the urging of people to die in a fire is a little over the top. I know it's a meme, but come on, do we really have to go there?
Posted by clashfan on September 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM · Report this
100
Kids always come first. Period.
Posted by Canadian eh? on September 28, 2011 at 9:21 PM · Report this
101
The gf is crazy-jealous and crazy-crazy so I agree with the advice to DTMFA.

I also think the tattoo idea is stupid (get it, don't get it, who gives a fuck, certainly not your kid) and other things you do will be more meaningful to your daughter, like writing letters EVERY week, skyping, sending her little things, and travelling to see her frequently. Kids need real involvement; gestures like getting a tattoo might mean something to you but it has nothing to do with a child's needs. At all.
Posted by Mary Mary Why You Buggin on September 28, 2011 at 9:26 PM · Report this
102
But really, the urging of people to die in a fire is a little over the top. I know it's a meme, but come on, do we really have to go there?
We? Probably not. Me? Yes. I've seen too many weeping men across the desk who did everything except break the law to have decent relationships with their kids have to listen to people sneer at how terrible as dads. Or, see for example, @89, which is, in effect, that you're a shitty dad if you don't move to a place where you have no job, no family and no friends and may not even be employable because your ex has arbitrarily decided to move there. I stand by my matches comment, though I freely concede that those with more kindness and less experience of these things may disagree with me.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 9:28 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 103
@ 85, I'd see that if he didn't obviously love his daughter, or get so pissed about the situation that he wrote SL for advice. If he were the abandoning type, he wouldn't be concerned with any kind of display of "enduring love." But he's not.

We can conjecture the mess his first marriage was, based on what he did say. He describes GF as "the woman for whom I left my already disintegrating marriage." Sounds like he started carrying on with his current GF while still married - maybe that's why they divorced. If so, it makes him a poor husband, but not a bad father.

@ 89, how do you know he didn't try to "get a job in whatever state his ex is moving to"? He mentioned "years of wrangling in court." Does that sound like someone who didn't try?

You don't know what his situation is because he didn't share it. Maybe staying here with the better paying job means he can provide more child support than if he went to that other state. Maybe he has aging parents who need his help. Point is, your judgment is too poorly informed to be legitimate.

@ 95, if you think the extreme reaction of this woman is just ducky, I think you probably have a skewed view of what a working relationship looks like. But then again, maybe your barely disguised contempt for tattoos made it hard for you to see this one objectively.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 9:30 PM · Report this
104
Oh, and btw and by-the-by, just moving there doesn't mean that you will have a relationship with your child. I've seen cases where the non-custodial parent DID move and was promptly shut out of any contact with the child and -- what a shock! -- because he had no job and no money in the new place and no ability to contest the treatment in court things just got worse because the custodial parent said to the child, "well, he's here in town but he hasn't made any effort to see you, baby..."

Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 9:34 PM · Report this
105
@91, @93 He fought for custody AFTER he had had the CPOS affair that lost that custody for him. If he had gotten 50% custody his ex would not be allowed to take the daughter out-of-state to live without his permission.
It's not right, but in today's legal system, if the man has an affair before the divorce is settled, he often (usually?) loses custody, even in no-fault divorces. Too many people believe the b.s. that "women are naturally better parents" and that the man's adultery is what destroyed the marriage - and his ex's lawyer would have been remiss if s/he hadn't played those cards.
I respect your experiences, seeker6079, so correct me if the above is incorrect.

Divorce is rarely pretty, and the custodial mom might be vindictive, but love for a child means taking some foresight in these instances. He said that his marriage was crumbling, but rather than fight for the kid first, he looked for the sex. GF probably did not help with that poor decision.
So, @103, yes, he made a poor decision as a husband, and one poor decision as a parent, and is paying dearly. He obviously wants to be a good dad, but to be there for his daughter, he's going to have to step it up far beyond just a tattoo. Perhaps he's doing all the things you suggest, but then the tattoo would really be a trivial issue in comparison.
Everyone else here is saying he should DTMFA and be alone, with neither GF nor his daughter. I'd bet that that's not going to happen; GF talked him out of being there for his daughter before. So I say he should either go all the way for his daughter and follow her (and no @97, you can't be too obsessive in wanting to protect a 5-year-old), OR give up his daughter and stay with the GF. But the tattoo is just a weak sop; in the long run, the daughter will likely appreciate the child support or money for a college fund more, or the excellent ideas suggested by @101.
More...
Posted by Biologist in the stix on September 28, 2011 at 9:58 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 106
@ 105, you're still jumping to conclusions. Why was the marriage falling apart? He said it was "already disintegrating," which sounds like the affair began because of that, not the other way around. Maybe mom was cheating too? Who knows? It's all beside the point of his letter because that's not the relationship he's trying to save now.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 28, 2011 at 10:09 PM · Report this
107
" He fought for custody AFTER he had had the CPOS affair that lost that custody for him. ..."
We don't know that exactly. If we assume accuracy in his letter we know that he left a "disintegrating marriage" for her. I do NOT wish to take a position on that specific point simply because I have seen both (a) people called CPOSs because they allowed love to come into their lives after horrendous treatment at the hands of their spouses but before the divorce was finalized, and (b) people who were total CPOS who characterized their marriages as disintgrating afterwards.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 10:10 PM · Report this
108
I find the tattoo creepy. Think about it -- she's going to see his daughter's initials every time they make love. Every time she sees her partner naked, she's going to be faced with mental images of his daughter. I don't think she's so batshit for reacting strongly.
Posted by Xian-Qi on September 28, 2011 at 10:48 PM · Report this
109
It's not right, but in today's legal system, if the man has an affair before the divorce is settled, he often (usually?) loses custody, even in no-fault divorces.
Ummmm... it has been my observation that "he often (usually?) loses custody", period, whether he has cheated or not or is a good dad or not. The simple fact is that good dads can and do lose custody. Mothers have to be either have to be terrible mothers or defeated by superior resources to lose custody. That's neither a feminist or antifeminist statement, but simply an empirical one that describes the Reality As It Is.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 10:51 PM · Report this
110
Kinda wish you hadn't mentioned the $50 deposit, because that more than anything else lends weight to the "trailer-trash" argument. On all other accounts, however, you are totally in the right.

Your girlfriend needs to be taught a harsh lesson, that she just made the biggest mistake of her life. She just asked a parent to put his child in second place, and she just declared the child to be a wedge issue. The only appropriate response to somebody who says essentially "It's her or me" with regard to one's offspring is to unceremoniously show her the door.
Posted by avast2006 on September 28, 2011 at 10:52 PM · Report this
111
I find the tattoo creepy. Think about it -- she's going to see his daughter's initials every time they make love. Every time she sees her partner naked, she's going to be faced with mental images of his daughter. I don't think she's so batshit for reacting strongly.
A valid point, but overstated. Such an objection would be entirely valid if sanely presented: "Dude, I love banging you but imagery of your daughter is going to be creepy for me". No worries there. The problem lies freaked out response that actuallyhappened. An illustrative political analogy:
Canada: "We are thinking of repainting the lines in the concrete at the Vermont/New Brunswick border to reflect the changes in magnetic north."
America: "Your measurements are wrong and if you repaint the line we will use Delta Force to murder everyone on University Avenue in Toronto."

Supplemental, and wholly inapplicable to the point at issue in the thread:
Toronto: "Have you completely lost your minds?"
The Rest of Canada: "You're only going to slaugher Torontonians, right? Okay, we're good with that. Here, take these bullets, we weren't using them .... "
Posted by seeker6079 on September 28, 2011 at 11:00 PM · Report this
112
@54: Your responses here and at 41 don't exactly set the gold standard for mature or reasonable, yourself. But hey, if cheap shot name-calling gets you off, don't let me stand in your way.
Posted by avast2006 on September 28, 2011 at 11:02 PM · Report this
113
yuck.

This is a poor cosmetic substitute for a real bond with your daughter.

Loose the $50 and pony up another and put it towards your daughter's future education
Posted by Doot on September 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM · Report this
Registered European 114
"I decided a couple of days ago that I might like to get her initials tattooed on my arm as a statement of my enduring love..."

Here's a thought... How about showing your enduring love for your daughter by being a PARENT.

Exactly. I have to agree with the "trailer-trashy" comment about the planned tattoo. People who tattoo names of their kids on their body will generally be the sort of people who consider their tattoos an alternative for actually being a parent, in my opinion.
Posted by Registered European on September 29, 2011 at 12:30 AM · Report this
115
Yeah, that's the kind of lady I'd want as my stepmom
Dump her
Posted by niko4ever on September 29, 2011 at 4:24 AM · Report this
116
While I generally don't agree with tattoos, I have yet to find anything I would want permanently inked on my body, if this is the only comfort ATU can get, then go for it.

That being said, by any chance are the ex's initials the same as the daughter's initials by any chance? That could explain ATU's girlfriend's flip out.
Posted by Dal Tiger on September 29, 2011 at 4:27 AM · Report this
117
The girlfriend or the tat? Neither one sounds all that great, so it is kind of a lesser of two evils situation.

I mainly want him to limit his use of 'vexed' to no more than once per e-mail.
Posted by Functional Atheist on September 29, 2011 at 5:55 AM · Report this
geoz 118
OMG yes. That is one crazy woman. In a year, some holiday like your daughter's birthday will come up and she'll say "ya know, she has a birthday every year. Let's use this money to go on vacay instead of going to see your daughter." You'll be fighting not only your ex, but your current just to spend a freaking moment with your daughter. Get rid of the flank attack from your current, you clearly have enough to battle with your ex.
Posted by geoz on September 29, 2011 at 6:04 AM · Report this
119
Since the gf challenged ATU to write to Dan, I expect she'll now write to Dan with her side of the story. I'd be interested to hear it.
Posted by KCFrance on September 29, 2011 at 6:18 AM · Report this
120
@74, 78 (and others who thought the jealousy was a red flag):

It's normal to be a little jealous of your partner's close relationships! There's nothing wrong or scary about that. When I dated someone with a kid, I was a little jealous of their bond and the time they had together and that he was her first priority. Of course I didn't blame her for that -- I was glad she was a good mom -- but it didn't change the fact that I still felt jealous sometimes. She overreacted but she wasn't out of line just to say she was a jealous.

Agreed that the LW should not give into ultimatums. It does set a bad precedent. But saying she's crazy and he should dump her is going a little too far.

And I agree with everyone who said that initials of your kid is very trailer-trash.
Posted by BlackRose on September 29, 2011 at 6:20 AM · Report this
121
Holy flashbacks to my brother's third wedding, where the new bride to be said out right that she had no interest in parenting his two children with wife #1 and almost wife #2, despite living in the same house with them. This woman nearly ruined her own wedding by threatening to storm out when almost wife #2 had the gall to try to attend it.

The attempts I made to get any this couple to see reason/sanity: 1. wife #3: he will be connected to the mother of his children for the rest of his life; 2. wife #3: if you cannot and will not care for his children DO NOT MARRY HIM; and 3. brother: do NOT bring such an emotionally selfish and limited person into your children's lives. Fuck her on the side when you have free time, but, dear god, don't marry her.

All sense was ignored, they divorced in about a year, the chidren are emotional trainwrecks, and the drama just rolls on and on and on.

So, yes. Batshit rubbish, emotional blackmail. Do not think you have "love" if your prospective partner sees your children as competition. Such a person is damaged beyond capacity for anything even remotely approaching love.

Posted by maddy811 on September 29, 2011 at 6:23 AM · Report this
122
@109: As far as I know your "empirical" statement isn't backed up by actual statistics, which don't show that women have an advantage in contested custody battles (but please let me know if you have a source proving me wrong).
Posted by BlackRose on September 29, 2011 at 6:36 AM · Report this
123
A Tat Unreasonable? is simply not mature enough to get a tattoo. If you have to ask about things like this you need to regroup, stop dating, work on yourself THEN move forward. SHE and HE needs to DTMFA until they grow up and stop ruining other people for relationships.

Delaying mental maturity is what causes these problems, and the letter sound like nothing but drama-queenage to me. Adult wants tatt, adult gets tatt and laughs away loser girlfriend who has problem with it, of course I have a feeling this letter is missing HUGE details.
Posted by Kylere on September 29, 2011 at 6:42 AM · Report this
124
BlackRose@109:

First, my observation was based on my time as a divorce lawyer and from listening to colleagues who still practice family law.

Second, regarding the stats, beware of them; they usually aren't reliable. To give some examples:

1. Statistical studies often show that fathers win a surprisingly large number of "contested custody battles", but those statistics almost always measure cases that actually make it to trial (and trials represent about 5% of court cases in most jurisidictions, as a good rule of thumb). In the other ninety-five out of a hundred cases the matters are either resolved by a settlement or de facto decided by interim relief. If one parent can obtain interim or "interim interim" custody at the earliest opportunity then that parent -- almost always the mother --- can establish a status quo that won't be overturned later; they "win" but that win doesn't enter the stats.

2. By the time cases get to trial (the only stats that people like to quote) only the most wealthy, or most vicious, or the most provably better dads are left. Sad, but true. So, in judging how often dads get custody by trial stats is a bit like statistically judging how fit and trained the average American serviceman is by only looking at the Delta Force guys: those who haven't been weeded out by the countless hurdles between start and finish.

3. The stats can't measure people who don't contest simply because they know enough about the system to know -- or believe -- that they won't have a chance. There's a ton of terrific dads out there who don't even enter the measurables for that reason, so they settle for as best they can, early on. In this respect a lot of the statistics suffer from the same socio-mathematical under-reporting that has bedeviled rape and DV cases.

4. The stats often leave out the kindest guys. I've known more than a few guys who are wonderful dads who refuse to turn their kids' lives into a contested, hate-filled circus of divore courts for years and so settle for joint custody or access when, had they been willing to fight in court they may (in a fair world, and we don't live in one), may have won.
More...
Posted by seeker6079 on September 29, 2011 at 7:07 AM · Report this
125
Sorry, BlackRose @122 in reference to my @109.

I should in fairness point out that these discussions rarely lead anywhere. People generally have very strongly held gender or ideological positions on one side or the other, and won't be convinced. People confronted with stats cite their own (often very extensive) anecdotal experience. People confronted with anecdotal experience cite stats.

Let me give you just one example of this: About two years ago I was discussing a news story with some colleagues who practiced family law. The stats cited in the story said one thing; the near universal experience of these family practitioners said another. So who was right?
Posted by seeker6079 on September 29, 2011 at 7:12 AM · Report this
126
How's the guy going to feel if his daughter gets married, and changes her last name? I'd be hesitant to get a tattoo of her initials, if I were he--but I wouldn't hesitate to drop the girlfriend.

Maybe you needed to leave your marriage, buster, but it would've been better to make a clean break of it, and then find somebody to date, instead of choosing to leave the marriage for a woman who doesn't value your relationship with your daughter. If you really value your little girl, put her first when you're making important life choices, instead of "proving" your love by getting a tattoo of her initials.
Posted by My Name Here on September 29, 2011 at 7:43 AM · Report this
127
"I should in fairness point out that these discussions rarely lead anywhere. People generally have very strongly held gender or ideological positions on one side or the other, and won't be convinced. People confronted with stats cite their own (often very extensive) anecdotal experience. People confronted with anecdotal experience cite stats."

Seeker6079, maybe the reason why these comment strings don't lead anywhere is that the comments don't contain anything helpful...such as...

"Die in a fire. Soon. Now would be good. Don't let me hold you up, I'm sure that you've got some matches in the house."...
"I don't smell smoke from you yet, which is perhaps the saddest thing of all."
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 29, 2011 at 8:18 AM · Report this
128
(Make that, "gets married someday" in my previous post.)
Posted by My Name Here on September 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM · Report this
129
She's right that those initials are totally white trash. It's extremely tacky and he should absolutely not get that idiotic trashy tattoo.

But he should totally dump that psycho bitch he's dating. She's a fucking wacko. I've never heard a story of a pedophile tattooing a kids initials on his arm. She's a whack job. Dump that bitch quick. For her sake, dump her in the parking lot of a psychologist.

Then skip the tattoo and just call your daughter every weekend or something rational.
Posted by Root on September 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM · Report this
130
Piano Tuna, you assumed that he was a shitty dad because he wanted a tattoo of his child, one whom he had spent considerable time in court trying to be with, and one who was about to be moved out his life and he wanted something to remember her by.

Think about that: you just assumed that he was a shitty dad, and you assumed that because he wanted a tattoo he wasn't really a parent, or that having a tat instantly made him a non-parent. That, in my mind, makes you a shitty person. It's a bigotry that people don't call bigotry, no different really that assuming women are whores or blacks are thieves or Jews are con artists. Yours is merely a socially acceptable form of bigotry and you just don't like being called out on it. Boo. Fucking. Hoo.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 29, 2011 at 8:33 AM · Report this
131
@25 (Kim), maybe it's just because of where I was born (Northeast of Brazil, a pretty traditional area of the country). In Brazil at least, the army people don't do tattoos. It's more the bandits or hell's angels types that do them; upon seeing an obviously tattooed guy on the streets, one of my earliest-learned instinctive reactions was to put my hand on my wallet or to walk to the other side of the street. Aside from that, there were sailors who tattooed their girlfriends' names in big hearts on their arms (my city, Recife, has a big harbor, and I saw many a sailor with such tatoos when I was a teenager, some 25 years ago).

The whole artistic/self-expression side of tattoos is something I learned about only later. In fact, the first time I saw a person who had a tattoo for some reason other than the two I mentioned above I was in grad school in Texas. (She was Brazilian, though, I must say. Her tattoo was part of her hippie past, together with making bead necklaces and flower power.)

I guess I am old, and foreign, after all. :-)
Posted by ankylosaur on September 29, 2011 at 9:01 AM · Report this
John Horstman 132
What the fuck?

She clearly has some issues around jealousy with respect to your relationship with your daughter that are not going to make for a healthy relationship between her and either you or your daughter. I think you should give her the opportunity to get (professional) help in dealing with her issues before running, and only run if she won't or if the therapy doesn't help. Definitely get the tattoo, and if she dumps you over it, good fucking riddance.
Posted by John Horstman on September 29, 2011 at 9:04 AM · Report this
133
"If you can't love that child too, lady, and if you can't see your boyfriend's feelings for his daughter as a credit to his character, then there's something terribly, terribly wrong with you."

One of your best clear, concise statements ever, Dan.
Posted by StrangerFan on September 29, 2011 at 9:04 AM · Report this
134
Several people above have said that they don't agree with my assessment of the 'relationship/girlfriend' tattoo as stereotypical, as I thought. That made me feel a little curious. To anyone who'd care to participate in my ongoing lifelong project to understand the depths of the unscrutable American mind, what is your first, stereotypical/prototypical, immediate association with tattoos? What do you see first in your mind when you think 'tattoo'? (To me, it's a heart with the girlfriend's initials inside and an arrow going through it, on the arm -- the stuff I used to see on sailors.)
Posted by ankylosaur on September 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM · Report this
135
@134, Wino Forever.
Posted by clashfan on September 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM · Report this
kim in portland 136
@ ankylosaur,

Something once meaningful, hopefully still, meaningful. I see a lot of pink ribbons in memory of someone whose defeated breast cancer by exiting this life valiantly. But I, like the crown prince of Denmark, am tattooed and it is the opinion of many that I'm therefore trailer-trashy. :-) So you should get other non-tatooed people's opinions as I obviously don't see them as an indication of someone's character or social standings.

Hope that helps, friend. :-)
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 29, 2011 at 9:41 AM · Report this
kim in portland 137
@ 134 (ankylosaur)
And, I play the blues with a group, mostly bass, so maybe body art is more the norm? Just a thought though.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on September 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM · Report this
138
@134
"Parker returned to the picture--the haloed head of a flat stern Byzantine Christ with all-demanding eyes. He sat there trembling; his heart began slowly to beat again as if it were being brought to life by a subtle power...
... She grabbed up the broom and began to thrash him across the shoulders with it. Parker was too stunned to resist. He sat there and let her beat him until she had nearly knocked him senseless and large welts had formed on the face of the tattooed Christ."
-"Parker's Back" by Flannery O'Connor
Posted by EricaP on September 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM · Report this
139
(Actually, my "first, stereotypical/prototypical, immediate association" is Popeye's anchors. But if you take out the words "stereotypical/prototypical", then my brain goes to Parker's Back.)
Posted by EricaP on September 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM · Report this
140
@134: My first thoughts when I think of tattoos are a sleeve with all sorts of bright colors and random images, sort of like a Heironymus Bosch sketch. That and tribal bands. I don't associate them with romance or sex at all (except that I think girls with tattoos are sexy).

@136: To be clear, I think getting your kid's initials is trailer-trashy. I don't think tattooes in general are trailer-trashy.
Posted by BlackRose on September 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
141

I think the tattoo is a bit trailer-trashy, but that's his business. If I was being separated from my daughter, I might be inclined to do something symbolic like that, trashiness-be-damned. He should get the tattoo if he really wants it. This is not getting a tattoo of a middle finger just to show you can, this is doing what is important to you in the face of someone who wants to control you by throwing a pretty ugly tantrum.

However, there is no way in hell I'd stay with a woman who suggested I was acting like a pedophile towards my daughter just because I wanted her initials tattooed on me. How often does she plan on pulling out that little barb in the future? How many other issues might come down to "pay less attention to your daughter or I'll call you a pedophile"? Jesus. You can see this one coming a mile away. This woman is bad, bad news for your relationship with your daughter.

If tattooing your daughter's initials on your arm is a statement of your enduring love for her, what kind of statement is NOT tattooing her initials on your arm in order to please a crazy bitch that's jealous of her?
Posted by beef rallard on September 29, 2011 at 10:13 AM · Report this
142
@124, 125: Very good points about why those statistics might not be accurate. You're right that just looking at trial results will distort the statistics.

As far as anecdotal evidence from practitioners in the field, though, I don't think that's reliable. There are just too many possible biases. What we really need is to ask a random sample of people some survey questions like:

1. Were you ever involved in a divorce where a custody arrangement needed to be worked out?
2. If so, what was the end result?
3. How did you work out the custody arrangement? What informal or formal means were used?
4. Was the custody contested? If so, what did each party want?
5. Did you at any point give up on fighting a custody battle? If so, why?

I don't know if such a survey has ever been done but it would give some good information.
Posted by BlackRose on September 29, 2011 at 10:15 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 143
"this is the sort of thing a pedophile would do"

You should definitely have kids with this lady. Posthaste.

She sounds like such an amazing mom-to-be!
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM · Report this
144
@124, 125, 142, I think seeker is getting the wrong idea about the scientific method -- not because of the stats, which are by themselves quite OK (more below), but because people in discussions -- especially laymen -- tend to be soooo awfully convinced that their stats or their life experience has told them The Truth(tm) that they invest a lot of their heart and emotions in the claims they're defending.

Usually in science as it should be practiced, seeker, if the stats didn't agree with anecdotal evidence, one would (a) try to come up with some rationale for why this should be so (the explanation you gave, about most cases never making it to trial, etc., is a good example -- it contains a number of what statisticians would call "confusing" or "hidden variables") and then (b) design a new study that takes these possibilities into account and redo the thing.

Usually, study results are not to be interpreted as "definitive proofs" of anything: study results are study results, i.e. they're what you got when you went fishing (with your particular hook and rod and bait combination, and in the place were you went to), and one still has to tell a story that explains them. It usually turns out that there's more than one story compatible with the results (including stories that claim the study design was flawed), so we end up having to go fishing again to get more evidence that can help see which story is better. Then redo and repeat, ad infinitum.

BlackRose's suggestion above is an example of an attempt at designing a new study to take into account some of the interpretations and observations you provided. He tries to add people who settled without going to trial, for instance, to correct for the bias you mentioned.

So, I guess my point is: you don't have to choose between life experience and stats, because both are incomplete. What you need to do is think about the stats, the life experiences, possible explanations for them -- and then design new experiments (stats or life experiences) to check whether or not your explanations find further support, or are falsified.
More...
Posted by ankylosaur on September 29, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
145
@EricaP, I should have thought of Popeye's anchors too! His were indeed the first tatoos I ever saw as a child. (Like all Brazilian children, all I saw on TV was American cartoons... you should hear Popeye's voice in Portuguese.)

@Kim, I see tatoos have more penetration as a normal thing in American society than in Brazil (at least, in Brazil, 25 years ago, in the conservative area where I was born; I hear things have changed there since then.).

By the way, it seems one of the Dutch princesses also has a tattoo (Princess Irene, I think -- the one who's all into sustainable housing and eco-villages and that stuff), though I may be wrong on that one.

I have no talent for music, but I'm a great fan of girls who play -- one of my girlfriends long ago was a bassist in an amateur college band. She rocked!

Posted by ankylosaur on September 29, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 146
@134: "To anyone who'd care to participate in my ongoing lifelong project to understand the depths of the unscrutable American mind, what is your first, stereotypical/prototypical, immediate association with tattoos? What do you see first in your mind when you think 'tattoo'?"

Well, it depends on the design, really. I generally think one of three things, "art" for the ones that aren't cliche, or at least are done well, "trashy" for the horribly done taz, tribal, slightly melted-looking fairy and tramp-stampy tattoos, and "nerd" for the gimmicky triforce, super mario, and internet meme tats.

We're a little biased in Seattle, as it's one of the densest places in the United States if not THE densest place tattoo-wise.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 147
@89: It's easy to judge a situation you have no conception of and make decisions that have no consequences to you. I'm sure everything in your life is neat and perfect only due to the keen, surgical choices made and having nothing to do with luck.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM · Report this
Alanmt 148
@seeker6079:

I am a little bit in love with you today.

@134, I am ashamed to say it, but my first automatic association with the word tattoo is the word "pre-release". And I have a tattoo. Mine is "S.P.Q.R." encircled in laurel leaves, the symbol of ancient rome, in which a good chunk of my historical fiction is set. It took me 10 years to decide on the perfect tattoo before getting it. My husband's stylized phoenix is the result of 10 minutes, alcohol consumption, and poor group decision-making, although I think it is cool and looks very sexy.

Yeah, LW, I'd dump her. Stat. Although immediate remorse and a counseling appt might make me reconsider that. Probably not, though.
Posted by Alanmt on September 29, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 149
@134: If you just say "tattoo", the first thought that comes to mind is a butterfly, because I had 5 or 6 friends who got butterflies in high school, 3 that did in university, and a few more in the decade since I graduated. So, a butterfly is the most common tattoo I think of, despite having one of my own that isn't one.

If you say "stereotypical tattoo" then I think of hearts with "Mom" inside and anchors, but I've never actually seen anyone in real life with a tattoo of either.

I'm Canadian, though, so it's not quite an answer to your question, anyhow.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on September 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM · Report this
150
I saw a woman not long ago who had her sons' names tattooed in hearts on her ankle. I thought it was touching.
Posted by DRF on September 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM · Report this
151
@148: Why pre-release?
Posted by BlackRose on September 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 152
@151: Incarceration, perhaps?
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 1:26 PM · Report this
153
First: GTFTattooA. Whether your delusional GF stays is up to her.

Second: As a childless woman, why the hell can't I find a devoted father like this guy? Some people have no idea how lucky they are.
Posted by Prettybetsy on September 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM · Report this
154
My parents divorced when I was five and got joint custody; their eventual spouses both (how? did they talk together? I don't know) assured me that this was because neither of my parents wanted me full time, and I was an adult before I had any reason to believe otherwise.

If either of my parents had gotten my initials tattooed on themselves, it would have meant the absolute world to me. It would have been proof, to my mind, that they did not regret my existence. For this reason, I think the tattoo is a great idea (though I don't usually particularly admire this sort of tattoo).

Also, if you have a child you simply can not be in a relationship with someone who accuses you of pedophilia, or pedophile-like behavior.
Posted by smoakes on September 29, 2011 at 2:35 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 155
@154: "Also, if you have a child you simply can not be in a relationship with someone who accuses you of pedophilia, or pedophile-like behavior."

Yeah, I don't think it's necessarily projection, but trying to drop that sort of threat/manipulation and shake you out of a connection to your daughter could definitely lead to some sort of emotional abuse towards her as she gets older. I would only get more protective towards her if someone brought out that WMD.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
SchmuckyTheCat 156
@122: statistics you asked for:

"In Washington, where 95 percent of divorced mothers are named their children's primary parents"
Source: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/H…

Since the move of the ex-wife seems relevant to the thread - a mother that wants a legal way to separate a father from the children will get told one word by any attorney: "Move." The statute for a primary parent (one with 50.1% residential time, even joint time has one majority parent) has a rebuttable presumption that the move will be allowed. It's almost impossible to prevent. If one parent has 50.1% of the time, they move, and they'll get it all. That's a travesty, and it is probably what this guy went through.
Posted by SchmuckyTheCat on September 29, 2011 at 5:19 PM · Report this
157
You shouldn't be in a relationship with anyone who feels threatened by your love for your daughter. And she accused you of pedophilia??? It's FUCKED UP that this woman views your daughter as her sexual rival. RUN AWAY.
Posted by Amanda on September 29, 2011 at 5:37 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 158
When did it become controversial to say that women have the advantage in custody battles, anyway? Whether that should be and what to do about it (if anything) is irrelevant.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM · Report this
159
Seeker,

I simply don't know how you could have come to all the conclusions you did of me from the one-line comment I made.

The LW put a $50 deposit down on the tattoo. I presume that the final price would be more. What my comment was meant to reflect was my feeling that there are better ways to spend that money. Such as: putting it in a savings account for his daughter's future education; gassing up the car and going to spend weekend time with his daughter out-of-state; helping his ex-wife in deferring the cost of the daughter's health care. You know, the kind of stuff responsible parents do.

That was the thought process behind my one line comment. I guess if that makes me a bigot in your eyes, I'll have to learn to accept that.

Now, when I go and set myself on fire, as you suggest, should I use an accelerant? Gasoline? Kerosene?
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 29, 2011 at 7:37 PM · Report this
160
@159, you kinda did leap to a conclusion that he was not parenting when you made your comment. Your flip, one-line comment left itself open to many interpretations. Possibly making more clear remarks would reduce such miscommunication in the future, no?
Posted by clashfan on September 29, 2011 at 8:43 PM · Report this
161
Just wanted to say thanks to those who answered my question about prototypical/stereotypical/first-association tattoos. Interesting results. When I finish writing the paper I'll let you know. :-)
Posted by ankylosaur on September 30, 2011 at 12:38 AM · Report this
162
Clashfan,

Sure, my comment left itself open to interpretations. Maybe it was flip. Yet, even if I were to accept the most outrageous mis-interpretation of my comment for a moment, I still don't understand how that leads to someone wishing that I die in a fire. Or that someone could read enough into my one-line comment to determine that I was a bigot.

And it seems that 113 and 114 hold a similar view to mine. No such reaction there.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 5:41 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 163
@ 162, will you please tell me about every purchase you've made in the last month? I'd like to judge your spending habits too!
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 30, 2011 at 6:07 AM · Report this
164
Matt,

I live alone and I don't have a child to raise, so if you were to look at my spending, you'd probably just see the usual selfish spending on myself - rent, car payment, gas, groceries, cell phone, a few meals out, health insurance, some to the 401k, and lots of discretionary spending like internet access, cigarettes, and lottery tickets and maybe even a tattoo. Pretty ho hum.

If I had a child, you'd probably see a mortgage (maybe rent), car payment, way more goceries, no meals out, higher health insuance, no 401k payments, maybe a lower cell phone bill, piano lessons for the kid, school suplies, school clothes, and maybe some for a college tuition fund. And say bye-bye to the cigarettes and lottery tickets. (Hmmm, tattoo payment doesn't seem to be on the list.)

Judge away! I certainly do. Yet, being a judgemental person means that I deserve to die in a fire? Or that I'm a bigot?
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM · Report this
165
Piano Tuna, you are completely missing the point.

You were not merely flip. You said, point blank, that he wasn't even to be considered a parent by you if he spent $50 on a tat of his daughter's initials. Again, please try to ponder this: his child was being moved away and you just breezed right by that and dumped him out of parent status because of some damned ink used for a symbolic demonstration of affection. Would you have said the same thing to a mother with an ex that was moving the child out of reach? I rather doubt it. It's hard to get near your post without splashing through the pool of gender disdain that you've left on the floor. It wasn't judgmentalism, fool. "I think that he's an idiot to spend that money on the tat rather than the kid" is judgmentalism. You said if he got the tat he wasn't a parent at all. That;s where the bigotry comes in.

BTW, if your last posts are any guide at all you won't need to set yourself afire because you're backpedalling so damned fast that you are going to run into something and do yourself an injury.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 30, 2011 at 8:27 AM · Report this
166
I think part of my objection, Piano Tuna, is that you are merely a fairly insulting version of a very standard type of outlook: motherhood is rightly seen as a state of existence, fatherhood is wrongly seen as a revocable status.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 30, 2011 at 9:02 AM · Report this
167
"You said, point blank, that he wasn't even to be considered a parent by you if he spent $50 on a tat of his daughter's initials."

I don't recall ever writing those words.

"You said if he got the tat he wasn't a parent at all. That;s where the bigotry comes in."

I don't recall ever writing those words.

"I think that he's an idiot to spend that money on the tat rather than the kid".

I don't recall ever writing those words.

"...you're backpedalling so damned fast that you are going to run into something..."

I don't understand how I can backpedal on statements I've not made.

I've re-read all of the postings I've written on this topic, and I'll comfortably stand by them. So far I've acceeded to being flip and judgemental, and perhaps I can be accused of giving unsolicited parenting advice to a letterwriter. I still don't understand why I deserve to die in a fire based on the sentences I've actually written.

I've also re-read my postings in the context of imagined gender reversal for the parties involved. I'll comfortably stand by them in that instance too.

Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
168
Piano Tuna, I did call out the 'die in a fire' comment.

Here's a news flash: Parents spend money on things that are not of direct benefit to their children. My dad golfed a lot. My mom traveled--to London, to Fiji. I was not deprived as a child. I never doubted their love and commitment to me.

Your assumption that the LW is shorting the child by getting a tattoo is problematic.
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
169
Some tattooers won't put a name on your skin unless it's your kid, your mom, or the person is dead.

Little story: when I broke up with my bf, I was kind of hoping he'd clean up his act so we could be together again. Instead, he sank into depression - and got a SHITLOAD of tattoos. Tattoos of his favorite song lyrics. All over his body.

IN COMIC SANS.

Well, that pretty much cut the cord for good.
Posted by Si on September 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
170
Clashfan,

I did catch that. Thank you.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
171
OK, PT, now you're being disingenuous. When you said, "Here's a thought... How about showing your enduring love for your daughter by being a PARENT." you implied that he was somehow not being a parent if he chose to get the tattoo. This is patently ridiculous and you have yet to acknowledge that.

Only one person here told you to DIAF. If you want an apology from him, ask him straight out.
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM · Report this
172
clashfan: he can ask, but he isn't going to get it. And, given the level of weasel-speak @167 (which you have more politely noted @171) he wouldn't merit any.
Posted by seeker6079 on September 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM · Report this
173
@41: She can feel weird all she wants. What she can't do is tell her boyfriend (of ANY amount of time) what he may or may not do with his body. She certainly has no say when it comes to the offspring of her partners, as she is not even a step-parent to this girl. If she cannot handle a man's relationship with his children (of ANY gender) she needs to stick to dating men without kids. What she cannot do is use her personal issues to make decisions about the life of her significant other.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 30, 2011 at 11:06 AM · Report this
174
@108: Except the girlfriend is making the issue that her boyfriend will start (or perhaps already is) thinking of his daughter when they make love, because he has her initials on his arm. It's a broken argument coming from a broken psyche.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 175
@ 164, cigarettes? Why don't you put that money in the collection jars for March of Dimes instead?

No, being judgmental means being a hypocrite, because you're criticizing the LW for spending a bit of money on his own pleasure instead of some socially redeeming way, but have at least one selfish habit yourself. And being a hypocrite means your judgment of the LW's spending habits are null. Especially when the amounts are so picayune. (He's not remodeling his bathroom with gold-plated fixtures, or something truly wasteful like that.)

I'm no christian, but "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is one of the greatest tidbits of wisdom ever.

BTW, non-parents? You really have no idea what the experience of being a parent is like. It's not something you can learn from observation, or the experience of being brought up by parents. You can't fathom the overpowering love most parents have for their children. Sure, you might be able to point out some obvious signs of bad parenting, like abused kids, or undisciplined children running wild in public places; but nitpicking on how one guy you've never met, whose backstory you don't know, whose income level you could never figure out, spends $50 (or the several hundred that the tattoo will cost if he gets it)? THAT is how you're going to judge his parenting? Please.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 30, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 176
@167: "I don't recall ever writing those words."

You're either insincere or stupid or some combination of the two. Words mean things when placed together, they imply things. You implied that his tattoo meant that he wasn't parenting, even if you didn't say every word in exactly the same order.

@169: Oh boy, did you luck out there.

Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 177
@108: "I find the tattoo creepy. Think about it -- she's going to see his daughter's initials every time they make love. Every time she sees her partner naked, she's going to be faced with mental images of his daughter. I don't think she's so batshit for reacting strongly."

Listen creepster, " She informed me that if I went ahead with the tattoo that it would be the last time she a) looked at my arm"

SHE CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT HIS ARM. EVER. Not just while fucking him.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
178
Matt,

I believe that hypocrisy can be found in everone, and I'm no exception. I won't deny my own hypocrisies. I think I've acknowledged being flip and judgemental in my initial comment. But I disagree that being a hypocrite nullifies my opinion.

We don't have enough information to know that the cost of this guy's tattoo is picayune to him or not. We do have enough information to know that the tattoo it's a least $50. I'm merely the (judgemental hypocritical) one who says "C'mon! Don't you have something better to spend that on? Like your daughter? Be a parent! Make adult choices! Go visit your daughter! Buy her some school clothes! " I chose a very coarse way of saying that in my original post.

(I am trying to quit the cigarettes. Don't know where I'll allot the money I save.)

Clashfan,

You're a powerful diplomat! Perhaps you're right that I'm being disingenuous too. I can see where one might think that. But I'm not going to acknowlege that the implication in my original post was patently ridiculous. It's within the boundaries of me being a person with an opinion, which I think I've acknowledged by saying I was flip and judgemental. I acknowledge the implication in the original post and explained the connection between tattoo and parenting in subsequent posts. I'm sticking to it.

Seeker,

I haven't written many of the things you've attributed to me in your posts.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 12:08 PM · Report this
179
@167: The original quote from you that brought down all the wrath: "Here's a thought... How about showing your enduring love for your daughter by being a PARENT. "

Seriously? You can't fathom how that sentence implies very strongly that the Letter Writer somehow isn't being a parent?

Whether or not that supposed failure of parenting is somehow linked to or demonstrated by the $50 dollar tattoo deposit, nobody calls on someone to start doing something that the person is already doing. You are perhaps the first person I've met with a massive failure of reading comprehension on something that you yourself wrote.

BTW, I _so_ call bullshit on you ditching the cigarettes and dining-out expenses. You really think the average Dad never has another beer again, or a night on the town for Mom and Dad, until Junior is out of college? What a rube. Not only have you never been in the situation, you don't even have a clue what the proper response is. There's a word for parents who never ever spend a dime on themselves: "martyrs." You are expected to continue to have a healthy relationship with yourself and your partner. Relationships where the parents throw every single resource at the kid usually turn into a morass of low-grade resentment, unless they flame out spectacularly.
Posted by avast2006 on September 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 180
@178: "We don't have enough information to know that the cost of this guy's tattoo is picayune to him or not"

So you're automatically associating the worst-case scenario, which was never mentioned or alluded to in any of the discussion.

That's a lame rhetorical trick.

"I'm merely the (judgemental hypocritical) one who says "C'mon! Don't you have something better to spend that on? Like your daughter? Be a parent! Make adult choices! Go visit your daughter! Buy her some school clothes! " I chose a very coarse way of saying that in my original post."

Perhaps you should sell your computer and use it for basic sustenance if you think fifty dollars is a frightfully large amount of money.

Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 12:23 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 181
@179: "BTW, I _so_ call bullshit on you ditching the cigarettes and dining-out expenses. You really think the average Dad never has another beer again, or a night on the town for Mom and Dad, until Junior is out of college? What a rube."

It's a dumb polarizing assumption, that the childless are selfish spendthrifts and parents can never have attain anything for their own pleasure.
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 182
Er. "can never have".
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
183
Piano Tuna, either you think that your original remark implied that LW was not parenting, or you deny that your remark implied that. Which is it?

I'm unclear as to your real feeling on the subject. I am willing to believe that your statement implied that, but it is not what you actually think.
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM · Report this
184
@181: "It's a dumb polarizing assumption, that the childless are selfish spendthrifts and parents can never have attain anything for their own pleasure."

Thank you for agreeing with me. (Just to clarify, I'm not calling Piano Tuna's choice of expenses spendthrift; nor, as far as I can tell, is anybody else doing it except to illustrate the silliness of his argument.)
Posted by avast2006 on September 30, 2011 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 185
Not your opinion, Tuna; but your judgment is definitely null. So long as you're spending discretionary income selfishly, you have no call criticizing anyone else for doing the same.

Also, the amount of money is not relative. If you're going to complain about someone selfishly wasting money that could serve some higher purpose, the amount in question has to be a tidy sum. $50 is not that sum. It is enough for someone not to want to go to nothing, but it's far short of reasonable outrage over selfish excess. So is $500, which is probably what four hours of tat work costs.
Posted by Matt from Denver on September 30, 2011 at 1:23 PM · Report this
186
Avast and Undead,

Boy, it's gettin' hot in here for me! Feels like I'm dying in a fire that I myself set. LOL.

When someone like me takes an idealized view of a particular position, and then expresses an opinion, I should be able to deal with the backlash. I get that. And I think I'm doing okay trying to defend my position (not great, but okay). You can even call me a rube, or stupid, or lame or insincere. I may be the first three, (lord knows, I've acknowledged worse) but I'm tryng to be sincere.

However, I do feel I need to defend myself against posts that incorrectly ascribe a chain of words to me that I did not write. Both against the words themselves, and the implications taken from them. So far, I've been called a bigot, and that I have issues with gender bias - for stuff I didn't write! Yeah. I call bullshit on that.

Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 1:24 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 187
@184: Yes, I was agreeing with you :)

@186: "However, I do feel I need to defend myself against posts that incorrectly ascribe a chain of words to me that I did not write"

I don't believe you are a bigot or have issues with gender bias, but you should probably understand that you implied something with your words and not shirk from it. Especially because you're continuing to imply it with the rest of your explanations.

If you didn't agree with the position, you'd be taking a different tone and argument. Even if you don't *think* that's what you're saying, everyone is taking it as that because of context, and your tone is consistent.

Does that make sense?
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 1:53 PM · Report this
188
Piano Tuna, I am no longer sure what your position is, or what you're trying to defend.

Many of us feel you implied the LW was not parenting because he chose to get a tattoo. Some of us railed about that more strongly than others, but I think all of us thought the idea was wrong-headed.

Do you think that your original remark made that implication? If not, can you see how the rest of us interpreted it thusly? If you do agree, is that what you really believe, or do you want to walk it back?

I say stuff I have to walk back all the time; you won't get judged harshly by me if that's where you choose to go.
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 3:03 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 189
@188: Right, at this point it's not even the rudeness, it's the dunderheaded refusal to admit what you were saying to the point where you're reduced to sophistry. "I didn't say that, tell me where I said that" instead of clarifying a dumb position.

I say dumb things all the time, for that matter. It's what happens when you're so chatty :p
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 3:09 PM · Report this
190
Undead and Clash,

I've done a bit of clarifying in my posts 159 and 178, where I thought I was wakin' it back, maybe ratcheting back my own rhetoric. Sorry for the sophistry or the perception of sophistry that I may be giving, but at this point, I'm almost afraid to do any more clarifying. Boy I got more than I bargained for!

Maybe it's just I don't understand how my posts, dunderheaded and dumb as they are, lead to responses like at at post 83 and post 130.

Undead, am I being rude? Never intended that.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 3:40 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 191
Hah, ok.

"Undead, am I being rude? Never intended that."
I just meant with the initial post that started if off.

"Maybe it's just I don't understand how my posts, dunderheaded and dumb as they are, lead to responses like at at post 83 and post 130."

It's a kneejerk response when a person tell someone else that they're being a bad parent, if you share some of the same traits, it's transitive, it can be implied as a personal insult (even if you don't intend it to be so.)

"This guy should do more parenting instead of getting tattoos" therefore "I have tattoos AND kids and/or think getting tattoos of my kids is sweet and have been deemed an inferior parent" .

That's how I see it.

Ok, enough of the metadiscussion, have an awesome weekend :D
Posted by undead ayn rand on September 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
192
Metadiscussion. I like that. I'm gonna think twice about starting or enflaming any more metadiscussions.

Peace.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM · Report this
193
I guess what I was looking for from you, PT, was one of these things:

Yes, I can see how that came off, and I don't mean it 100%, what I really think is this . . .

or No, I really don't see how you get that from what I said.

or Yes, I said it and meant it; parents should focus 100% on their child's needs 100% of the time.

I think you're more or less at Option A--that's what I've gotten from a couple of your posts. But a couple of other things you've said lead me to think you're saying B or C. I really don't understand how a person could be at B, and I'm on record as believing that C is patently ridiculous.

Am I wrong? Is there another option? There are probably many that I do not see.
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM · Report this
194
Option A.
Posted by Piano Tuna on September 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM · Report this
195
Thanks. And now, like everyone else, I am exhausted from this!

Everyone have a good weekend!
Posted by clashfan on September 30, 2011 at 8:59 PM · Report this
196
ok slog fans,
your patience and endurance wading through 200 posts is about to be rewarded:

1- Tattoos of any and every kind are sleazy, tacky and no-class. Do with this Truth what you will.

2- DTMFA
Posted by inyourheartyouknowitstrue on October 1, 2011 at 6:36 AM · Report this
197
My first thought was: why are they writing to Dan Savage? He is a sex columnist, not a relationship columnist or a therapist like some columnists.

My second thought was: this is going to be a lose/lose situation. Since his advise is always often about doing wht is best for you, rather than creating a compromise, both parties are going to be hurt by his advise.

Boy was I right. His solution creates a lose/lose situation for both parties. He DTMFA and loses his woman of three years. And gets stuck alone with a tattoo and no women in his life. She loses her partner of three years.

And the comments from readers have been absolutely vicious!!! Or should I say 'savage'. The internet is so anonymous that people can be mean and cruel without any damage to themselves.

Obviously everyone here enjoy's Dan's columns but if you want relationship advise, don't ask a sex columnist. Or Car Talk. Or a food writer. Ask a relationship expert.
Posted by tantragal on October 1, 2011 at 11:50 AM · Report this
198
I only have a single data point, but I'd be wary. The only person I've ever heard of to have jealousy issues with the children of the person she was involved with ended up abusing one of those children (and the child was quite young at the time). I definitely see it as a pretty serious red flag.

As to what do I think of when I think of tattoos, I think my first thought is decorative. The first tattoos I knew of were females who wanted a small decoration and tended to get something like a butterfly or a flower tattooed on their ankle. Since then, I've known some artists who made an original artwork of their own to be tattooed on them. Sometimes people get something personally meaningful, and one hopes it will continue to be that way for them for a long time. Personally, I don't ever want a tattoo and would prefer someone I was involved with not get a tattoo, but I would tell the person that, and not flip out and threaten to break up over it or call the person a pedophile. I don't care for tattoos, so that would be the substance of my point. That she leaped to being jealous over the child and it being something a pedophile would do (which I doubt it is, but that isn't really the point) makes me think her objection isn't that she just doesn't like tattoos, but that she has issues with the child. And that's a huge problem if you want to be a good parent. Letting someone who has issues with your child potentially near your child, which is what will happen if your child visits you from time to time and you live with this woman. So, get the tattoo or not, I don't care, but I'd be really wary of keeping the relationship. Maybe get some couple's counseling to get an objective opinion on whether this was a passing bit of insanity or whether she really does have serious issues.
More...
Posted by uncreative on October 1, 2011 at 3:16 PM · Report this
199
@196: "1- Tattoos of any and every kind are sleazy, tacky and no-class. Do with this Truth what you will."

Yawn. Strictly grade-school level trolling.

Many to most tattoos are tacky, but "every kind" is so obviously dumb that it's hard to get riled up about.
Posted by poor babby troll failed on October 1, 2011 at 3:47 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 200
A relationship expert like Dr. Laura, tantragal? A relationship expert that says things like:
  • "gays are pedophiles"
  • "homosexuality is a biological error"
  • "Matthew Shepard brought his death on himself"

Dan's a parent and a good person (a much better person than Dr. Laura).
A good parent understands that ATU being a good parent is more important than this current relationship. ATU can find another girlfriend, but ATU's daughter only gets one dad. If the partner's willing to admit she's been crazy and seek therapy ASAP, then perhaps he could wait and see if she gets it, but choosing to stay with a woman who's jealous of his daughter is putting his daughter last, and that's just not OK.

Choosing your relationship over your child is not OK, and the girlfriend hasn't shown the capacity to be able to be with him while he puts his daughter first.
Posted by Canadian Nurse on October 1, 2011 at 8:05 PM · Report this
201
199

and yet you did.
congrats.....
Posted by yummmy yum yum! on October 1, 2011 at 8:47 PM · Report this
202
200

homosexuality IS a biological error.

how do homosexuals reproduce?

IF there actually were an innate biological condition of "homosexuality"
they would be sterile mutants unable to reproduce.

luckily,
as we all know,
homosexuality is just a behavior people choose to engage in.
Posted by a real Nurse would have known that on October 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM · Report this
203
@202: The same way that people who are straight and don't reproduce.

Also, plenty of homos reproduce.

In other words, you're dumb, wrong, and have a tiny, smelly penis.
Posted by teh gheys are not why you will never have sex on October 2, 2011 at 2:43 AM · Report this
204
@197, the word you're looking for is 'advice'. It can be a noun or an adjective. The word you used, 'advise', is a verb.

Dan is an advice columnist.

Dan gives advice.

People ask Dan to advise them.

Sorry, that was bugging me.
Posted by clashfan on October 2, 2011 at 9:41 AM · Report this
205
203

Sure homos reproduce, they do it all the time.
Because they aren't actually "homos".
Just folks who engage in homosexual behavior.
Or not.
Posted by the letter H on October 2, 2011 at 1:42 PM · Report this
206
@205: apparently you're also too stupid to understand how procreation works. a man and a woman do not need to "love each other" to make a baby. A woman and a turkeybaster does not need to copulate, and guess what! Homos are born every day. It may confuse you, but so do vaginas and the complxity of womankind. Your realdoll understands you.
Posted by one day you may not need that fleshlight on October 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM · Report this
207
I will say that if the tattoo had been somewhere private - such as on a hip - then it would have been creepy. As it is, an arm is an innocent place to get a tattoo symbolizing a family member.
Posted by Brie on October 2, 2011 at 11:36 PM · Report this
208
@205: Let's assume for purposes of this demonstration a supposedly ideal heterosexual marriage of some 50 years duration. Assume also an average frequency of sex once a week. So, fifty years at once a week comes out to approximately 2500 sexual interludes. Now, assume that couple has the canonical 2.5 children. That means that only 1 in 1000 sex acts results in a child. The other 999 are purely recreational. In other words, sex is 99.9% for recreational purposes.

Certainly homosexual couples can and do arrange to have some equally small percentage of their sexual activities result in a pregnancy. (Would you call a man who had 999 gay encounters and only 1 with a woman a hetero? Be honest, now.) And for those who don't actively try to make a baby, there is always the option of taking responsibility for the accidental offspring of some random, careless shithead who couldn't be bothered to NOT procreate.
Posted by avast2006 on October 3, 2011 at 11:26 AM · Report this

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